Whenever an NFL team changes quarterbacks, there's usually a clear reason why. The position is too important to mess with just for the sake of shaking things up.
Sure enough, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had an explanation for why rookie Kenny Pickett will replace Mitch Trubisky as the team's starting quarterback in Week 5 against the Buffalo Bills.
Pittsburgh Steelers News
According to Tomlin, the switch isn't entirely punishment for Trubisky's poor play thus far. Rather, Tomlin is hoping the 24-year-old Pickett can "provide a spark" to Pittsburgh's sagging offense during this weekend's crucial AFC matchup with Buffalo.
The numbers speak for themselves, as the Steelers are 1-3 and find themselves in last place in the AFC North. Their scuffling offense has been a big reason why, as Pittsburgh ranks 30th in yards and 23rd in scoring.
Poor quarterback play is the main reason for the Steelers' offensive woes. Pittsburgh ranks 28th in passing yards and has just 2 passing touchdowns through 4 games -- second-worst in the NFL.
Trubisky has been responsible for most of those ugly stats, at least until Pickett came out to start the second half last week against the New York Jets. Pickett played fairly well in his NFL debut, completing 10-of-13 passes for 120 yards and scoring a pair of touchdowns on the ground, although he did throw 3 interceptions.
While the Steelers still lost, the offense improved considerably after Trubisky departed, scoring 14 points with Pickett under center compared to just 6 points with Trubisky. If Pickett can avoid making too many costly mistakes, he seems to give Pittsburgh a better chance to win going forward.
Pickett's first NFL start will be a challenge, however, as the Steelers are 14-point road underdogs against the Bills on FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL odds. If the young gunslinger can hold his own on the road against one of the best teams in football, that will say a lot about his potential and make his NFL future even brighter.